BY WAYNE STOCKS
If you ever wonder if it’s ok to love both of your parents after a divorce or separation, the answer to this question is simple:
You absolutely have the right to love both of your parents no matter what happened in their relationship with one another.
Sometimes the fact that you love one parent might make things uncomfortable for the other parent, and other times you might feel like the fact that you love your Dad makes your Mom mad or vice-versa. Unfortunately, you might be right. Especially when parents have gotten a divorce, one or both parents may harbor resentment and anger towards the other parent. They might even try to influence you to feel the same way they do about your other parent. What they are doing isn’t fair to you, but it is likely the result of the frustration and stress that they are feeling. Unfortunately, parents are human beings too, and even parents make mistakes.
One fundamental right that every child from a divorced or separated home should have is the freedom to love both parents. If you are in a situation where one parent is making that hard or uncomfortable, there are some things you can do to try to make the situation better:
- Remember that they are still your parents, and even though they might not be right about this situation, you need to show them respect. They might not deserve it, but that shouldn’t keep you from showing it.
- Talk to the parent who you feel is hindering your ability to love the other parent and tell them how you are feeling. Explain, as specifically as possible, what they are doing that makes you feel like they don’t want you to love the other parent.
- Explain in a calm and respectful way that you did not choose, nor did you have a say in, what happened between your parents and you shouldn’t be asked to picked sides or favor one parent over the other.
- If one parent starts to blame the other parent for what has happened to your family, remind that parent that you aren’t happy about what has happened either but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still love your mom or dad. Remind them that they still love you even when you make mistakes and you feel the same way about them.
- Reassure your parent that just because you love your other parent doesn’t mean that you love them any less. Remember that your parents are probably hurting too, and you can reassure them by showing love to them as well.